Grantland and Deadspin correspondent presents a
breakthrough examination of the professional wrestling, its
history, its fans, and its wider cultural impact that does for the
sport what Chuck Klosterman did for heavy metal.
The Squared Circle grows out of David Shoemaker's writing
for Deadspin, where he started the column Dead Wrestler of the
Week" (which boasts over 1 million page views) -- a feature on the
many wrestling superstars who died too young because of the abuse
they subject their bodies to -- and his writing for Grantland,
where he covers the pro wrestling world, and its place in the pop
culture mainstream. Shoemaker's sportswriting has since struck a
nerve with generations of wrestling fans wholike himgrew up
worshipping a sport often derided as fake" in the wider culture.
To them, these professional wrestling superstars are not just
heroes but an emotional outlet and the lens through which they
learned to see the world.
Starting in the early 1900s and exploring the path of pro
wrestling in America through the present day, The Squared
Circle is the first book to acknowledge both the sport's
broader significance and wrestling fans' keen intellect and sense
of irony. Divided into eras, each section offers a snapshot of the
wrestling world, profiles some of the period's preeminent
wrestlers, and the sport's influence on our broader culture.
Through the brawling, bombast, and bloodletting, Shoemaker argues
that pro wrestling can teach us about the nature of performance,
audience, and, yes, art.
Full of unknown history, humor, and self-deprecating
reminiscencebut also offering a compelling look at the sport's
rightful place in pop cultureThe Squared Circle is the
book that legions of wrestling fans have been waiting for. In it,
Shoemaker teaches us to look past the spandex and body slams to see
an art form that can explain the world.